EMN National Contact Point
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EMN Annual Report outlines trends in the area of migration and asylum in 2021

24 June 2022

The European Migration Network has published the Annual Report on Migration and Asylum that provides an overview of the developments in the area in the EU Member States, Norway and Georgia in 2021. In addition to challenges related to COVID-19 pandemic, new ones occurred because of political unrest that exerted pressure on the asylum systems. As a result of new and persisting challenges, there was a need to update migration management systems and ensure the protection of refugees.

In 2021, EU Member States continued to experience the effects of COVID-19 and to tackle challenges of the health crisis on integration, labour market needs and living conditions of migrants. Member States extended the right to stay to certain third-country nationals and introduced travel restriction measures. In the area of international protection, measures were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reception centres.

The Belarus border crisis and the fall of Afghanistan’s government resulted in sudden increase in migrants coming to the EU, including those seeking protection. In June 2021, Belarus started to facilitate the transit of migrants towards Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. This led to emergency measures in EU countries including strengthened border protection. Another significant development was the fall of Afghan government. As the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, most Member States reacted by evacuating and offering protection to Afghans.

Increasing the effectiveness for better migration management was a common theme at EU and national level. Member States focused on innovation, simplification of processes and digitalisation of migration management, such as digital visa and residence permit applications.

Member States also established various measures to increase their attractiveness to third-country workers, with a particular focus on attracting highly skilled workers but also other workers in specific economic areas facing labour shortages.

New forms of cooperation with third countries were established both at EU and national level, not only to prevent irregular migration, but also in the area of skilled migration. The EMN itself opened its doors to Georgia and Moldova, who joined the network as observer countries in March 2021.

EMN Coordinator for Slovakia

International Organization for Migration (IOM) – Office in the Slovak Republic

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EMN Coordinator for the EU

European Comission - Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs 

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